It’s As If We Dated In the Nineties

Last night, Blogger gave me fits and I couldn’t remember if I knew how to fix the problem. After our tiff, I polished my nails – which takes hours; I’m from Jersey – and refused to make eye contact until Blogger saw things *my* way.

Last night, a man rang my doorbell. Through the peephole, I saw a face I didn’t recognize. I saw it in profile. I asked, “Who is it?”

“Is mrhthhspphh home?” he asked. I almost laughed.

“I’m sorry, who?” I asked again.

“Is mrhthhspphh home?” he repeated. I’m not slurring a real name. He wasn’t pronouncing one. This is the oldest trick in the home robbery book. You’re supposed to open the door and politely ask your obviously speech-impaired visitor what he said and direct him to the proper address. He in turn pops you in the head, steps over you and steals your stuff.

I could’ve sent him to the door of the guy directly below me. His mail sometimes ends up in my mailbox and I’ve knocked on his door a few times to deliver it. He’s gigantic. On the mental movie screen, I imagined the guy at my door twisted like a pretzel in the parking lot below my kitchen window where the guy downstairs tossed him and the interloper neglected to bounce. I didn’t do that.

I could’ve sent him upstairs. “Sixth floor,” I could’ve said. My building only has five. I’m not on the top floor so he might not have noticed on his way up. I didn’t do that.

I could’ve said, “Second door on your left.” That apartment’s empty. He could’ve knocked all night but I would’ve gotten sick of him as an in-home percussion source pretty quickly so I didn’t do that either.

“There’s no one here by that name,” I said, trying to sound really tall and as if I might have a black belt in something besides the Old Testament, though I wasn’t exactly unarmed. He turned and left in a hurry. As they say, “I was born at night, but not *last night.*”

Sometimes you just want to say, “Hey, kid. Get a paper route or something because this larceny thing is just not gonna work out for you. When you rang the doorbell after ten o’clock everyone on the floor got a weapon and went their peepholes. Do you really want to explain to your friends how you were stabbed by a mob of old ladies and gay scholars?”

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